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We stayed 2 weeks in a farm house in Ficulle, inside the Umbria region of Italy. One of those bucket list experiences I always dreamt of.

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Ficulle is a very small town with one good restaurant, one bakery, two bars and a big cemetery. As usual in the rural parts of Italy, the demographics are fairly old, over 60 years in average. The bars are filled with old men with playing cards at night. That’s why you see so many abandoned cities in the area. Not sure how this trend can be reversed. A country with challenging demographics and a questionable political and economical structure: the future is not bright.

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Our house was way too big for 3 people, nothing to complain about. Sometimes you’ll find exceptional deals on AirBnB.

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Our breakfast view, we harvested a few times the plum, peach, pear and apples trees. So wonderful to sit outside in the morning and soak in the peace. Not so peaceful at sunset when the mosquitoes came out at night and covered us in bites. And I mean covered. And, they bothered us a night as well. For some reason, at night they left us alone outside. That was a little disappointing, since there’s nothing better than taking in the sunset. We had to take it in behind windows.

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3 cats came with the house plus a dog. Astrid was busy keeping the bowls filled with food and water. I hope they don’t miss us too much.

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Whenever we had a chance in the afternoon to take a nap, we took advantage of it. The view when waking up.

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When I talk to and read about people why they love Italy or why they would like to live here,  a common answer is “life style.”  I also love the Italian life style. But what exactly does life style mean to people? As people discuss this topic further, they talk about life being at a slower pace, which means that they live at a slower pace.  What makes the pace slower here, or to think a bit differently about it, why is the pace in the US so fast?  One reason is the difference in our understanding of the value of time. In the US there is a sense that time is a precious and finite resource.  To not value time, brings up the idea of profligate spending.  Italians, as opposed to most Americans, have a much broader sense of time.  I think that it is based upon living in a place that has been inhabited for more than 2000 years. I am still struggling with the idea that time is something to be enjoyed rather than segmented, and accounted for in a total reckoning at the end of the day.

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This life style also includes a sense of community; the emotional experience of community; a sense of belonging, of identification, of feeling emotionally and physically safe; a feeling that I can influence others and they can influence me. I felt all of these things in Ficulle.

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And it’s visually expressed in the cemetery. Colors and flowers everywhere, one feels the dead are still part of the community. You can judge a society how they treat their dead.

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Will I return to Ficulle? Unlikely. Will I return to this region? Hopefully. Will I miss this lifestyle? Definitely.

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